If you suspect a child under the age of 18 is being abused or neglected, or is at risk for abuse or neglect, you should make a report to your local Child Protective Services (CPS) office.
Call the state-wide CPS Hotline at 1-866-363-4276
IF THIS IS AN EMERGENCY CALL 911
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Child Abuse Helplines:
Helplines are staffed with trained operators to deal with your questions about suspected child abuse.
CHILDHELP USA NATIONAL CHILD ABUSE HOTLINE: 1-800-4-A-CHILD
DSHS NATIONAL TOLL FREE HOTLINE: 1-866-END-HARM
The Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) offers reporting hotlines specific to the region the child lives in: Visit https://www.dcyf.wa.gov/safety/report-abuse
STILL NOT SURE WHERE TO TURN?
Child Advocacy Centers (CAC) provide coordinated legal, medical, and social services to child victims of abuse. If you are unsure about making an official report or you are/know a (youth) victim in need of support, contact a child advocacy center in your area.
To find a Washington CAC near you visit our Find a Center page
To find a CAC in another state, visit the National Children’s Alliance at: https://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org/
Information to Include
Please take a moment before calling to put together as much of the following information as possible:
- Name, age and address of the child.
- Name, address, and other identifying information about the parent or other caregiver.
- The type of abuse you witnessed including information on the extent of the abuse and who caused the abuse.
- Information about any previous incidents or concerns.
- Any other information that might be helpful.
You do not need to know all of this information to make a report, but the more specific you can be, the easier it will be for CPS to determine if an investigation is needed.
Even if CPS does not investigate, the information will be kept on file and may aid in future investigations.
Even if you are not a mandated reporter under state law, you have an obligation to protect children in your community. You cannot be held liable for making a report in good faith. You do not have to know for sure that a child is being abused or neglected to make a report. A trained investigator will make that determination.